Company: Frontiers Records
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Jonah Haze
Cheers to those around the table on this one again!
European supergroup Sunstorm strikes back for their third in a series of conceptually structured releases. Every cd has been carefully hand crafted by the carpenter of this storm, Dennis Ward, (if you dont know him then look him up!). Standing on the sun, Dennis once again produced, recorded, mixed and performed bass and other misc instruments.
Likened to the first two releases, again featured is world renowned rock/metal AOR Jersey crooner Joe Lynn Turner. "Emotional Fire" is again emotionally charged with the pounding of pens on paper preceding the professional and passionate playing. Sunstorm's "concept" is to creatively challenge itself with a correct track order. Between a fistful of original JLT heat, project specific material vehicled toward Joe and this time around a coupla covers, like I said in understandable order, boils together an all-original sounding band more than just a project.
Speaking of "Vehicle", space truckin inkmeister Jim Peterik (Ides of March, Survivor) rides along again and adds that consistency caramelizing Sunstorm's songwriting, song selection and everything Dennis Ward, that the label--Frontiers--had in mind. They sound like an established classic band that has survived spin offs, solo projects and break ups & upon reuniting everyone around them is trying to sound like them.
Cheers to those around the table on this one again! Come taste the band!
The ideas progressed further, as did the fine wine selection after dinner, using Dennis's cups. Suddenly, a conversation chord struck considering a couple of cover songs to round it all out. This third album is the first album to venture into this territory, however these selections weren't necessarily hits, nor necessarily written by the original performing artists (that's just me painfully justifying covering songs!) I'm always cautious with vaulted material and cover versions, but the trinity of songwriting angles here pointed in the direction of all killers and no fillers!
They threw the line out a little further than I would have liked to imagine and I hate to admit the artists he covered...But JLT gave these tunes a GTO attitude turnover tune up! Only now are they death alley drivin songs! The title track and a great theme setter, "Emotional Fire" was recorded by Cher originally! And always the super hero of love, Joe recsues the beautiful "Gina" from Michael Bolton! No Lulu about it, after hearing these JLT recordings, whether you are familiar with the originals or not, it will erase any old memories we should have never had.
Joe's niche is literally in the international waters where his big buoy balls carry him wherever God calls. Sought after like Jeff Scott Soto could only wish, Joe remains the American heavyweight of talent & success with a musical crossover fire that European bands with American AOR sensibilities desire.
Let's face it, Ritchie Blackmore left such a hard punch its hard not to find a European musician to this very day without a black eye. The early 80's Rainbow influence would eventually be the sweet taste of AOR that too many Euro & American bands would forever wish diabetes upon their music. Many have tried. Many have succeeded. Many have failed. But when two fires decide to burn together there is no shadow to hide in.
And that is Sunstorm featuring Joe Lynn Turner.